The Blissful Accidental Death/ Splendida Moarte Accident
2017/ 15 min./ 3d, 2d animation/ Romania
Directed by Sergiu Negulici
Produced by Reniform Production and Abis Studio
Producer: Adriana Ionică
Script: Sergiu Negulici, Ioana Nicoară, Manuela Marcovici
Animation: Sergiu Negulici, Ioana Nicoară, Manuela Marcovici, Ruxandra Corduneanu, Anca Laura Adascăliței, Lu Pop, Razvan Diț, Alex Boncea
Music: Vlaicu Golcea
Sound Design: Tudor Petre
Foley Artist: Sebastian Zsemlye
Synopsis: Entering an antique shop, a young man finds an intriguing drawing which is hiding a secret love letter on the back, written 70 years ago. After finding out that the author of the drawing is still alive, 105 years old, and persuasive in finding out if the story is real, the man goes on an unusual journey to meet her, the painter who befriended many important Romanian artists at the beginning of the 20th century.
Sergiu Negulici was drawing as a kid and his parents took him seriously. While studying sculpture at Bucharest Fine Arts University, he started working in the first post production studio in post ’89 Romania, where he became part of the new wave of digital artists working in advertising. 18 years later he was given the chance to coordinate a small team for part of Anca Damian’s „Magic Mountain” animation feature. His work since focused more on animation movies and The Blissful Accidental Death was his first film, being awarded at festivals like Annecy Animation Festival, CINANIMA, Animateka, Anim’est, Molodist Kiev, Hiroshima Animation Festival, etc. He is currently working on his second short while coordinating a team of young animators in his studio, Reniform Production.
Shortlisted for the Academy Awards 2019
Hiroshima International Animation Festival/ Japan- Grand Prize
Taichung TIAF/ Taiwan- Outstanding work
Molodist Kiev IFF/ Ukraine- Best Short Film Award
Animateka IAFF/ Slovenia- Jury Grand Prix
CINANIMA IAFF/ Portugal- Grand Award- City of Espinho Award
Annecy IAFF/ France- „Jean Luc Xiberras Award” for a First FIlm
Animafest Athens IAFF/ Greece- Grand Prix
Anim’est IAFF/ Romania- Best Romanian Film
FIC Autor/ Mexico- Best Animated Short Film
Imaginaria IAFF/ Italy- Best Animated Short Film (ex-aequo)
Blow Up Arthouse FIlmfest/ Chicago/ USA-Honorable Mention
Sedicicorto IFF/ Italy- Grand Prix Luminor
Fresh Stream Experimental Filmfest- Best Art Animated Film
To Whom It May Concern. About The Blissful Accidental Death
A sensitive young man buys a 1930s charcoal sketch, instead of signature he finds a surrealist love letter/poem on the backside. He seeks to reveal the drawing’s authenticity and its authoress’ intentions. A senior lady is not willing to share the addressee’s name for she does not believe it matters anymore. Silence is a privilege of those who have experienced delights and hardships and who are left to await the end.
The animators and writers behind this short film chose 3D animated imagery to convey the story of the fatal deception. Modeling and texture resemble simplicity of hand-made cut-out and rawness of cardboard. Storytelling flow appears to unveil the nightmarish chain of associations awoken by the train’s rumbling into the night but in fact it follows a cold linear logic of cruel actions and their dreadful consequences filtered through individual’s sensitivity. The spectator enters the game of hide-and-seek with the truth on the invitation of a little girl who handles over an absurd pet toy, a rhino, a symbol of a monstrous transformation evoked by Eugene Ionesco already in 1940 when he had observed and described stages of collective ideological metamorphosis – from indignation, through consent, activism, to the moment of the visibly observed change when “the skin becomes thicker, the hands transform into hooves, the horn arises on their foreheads, and they become cruel”.
And so Dada sophistication descents into blindness and gibberish, malignant and seductive deliberations of Nae Ionescu precede Iron Guard’s marching. Expression matters and there are still meanings to be found among the coffins of those who have written, lectured or painted, along thousand other places of burial of those who have been deprived of their names, assaulted with horns, reduced to scratched silhouettes and shattered memories. Some have hidden their words deliberately, from some they have been violently taken away. On the board of the night-train one has to confront with the legacy of Mircea Eliade and Mihail Sebastian alike. One has to fade into desire, suffering, sublimation and fascination with the accidental nature of death. Words of love, shame or fear will be re-imagined and re-uttered. To remember and to speak about is a privilege of every next generation.
Olga Bobrowska (film scholar, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland/ StopTrik IFF, Maribor, Slovenia)